File image. / SUR

Unemployment rate in Spain rises slightly in latest official data, amid global instability

Locally, in Malaga province and on the Costa del Sol, the EPA survey was better news, with the lowest percentage out of work recorded since 2008 - mainly thanks to the tourist high season

J.M. CAMARERO / N. TRIGUERO MADRID / MALAGA.

The summer was not as good as it normally is for the creation of jobs across Spain as a whole.

Between July and September, the number of unemployed nationally grew slightly by 60,800 people, increasing the unemployment rate to 12.67%, compared with 12.4% in the period April to June, according to quarterly government data.

Excluding the two pandemic years (2020 and 2021), this is the first time that the number of unemployed in Spain has risen in the summer months for almost a decade.

This year, jobs have been destroyed in a three month period marked by the high levels of inflation as well as a weakening of employer confidence due to the war in Ukraine. Not even the good state of tourism this summer has prevented net job losses nationally.

Malaga province did better

However, the strength of the tourist high season in Malaga province - including the Costa del Sol - was enough to see the local area buck the national trend and reduce unemployment numbers.

There were 14,000 fewer unemployed in the province at the end of September compared to the end of June and the local unemployed rate fell to 15.89%, the lowest since 2008. Malaga province is close to breaking the barrier of 700,000 in work for the first time ever.

The data was published on Thursday in the quarterly EPA (Active Population Survey), seen as more reliable on the state of the job market than monthly Social Security and job centre figures.

Compared to last year, when many people were still on furlough schemes or not contracted, Spain has managed to reduce the number of unemployed by 436,500 people, and lowered the jobless rate by almost two percentage points.

Apparent contradiction

Although the EPA data shows unemployment rising, it also shows that the total size of the workforce has continued to grow - producing the apparent but common contradiction that there were more people in work in total during the last quarter.

During the period July to September this year, the number of employed people in Spain increased by 77,700 compared to the previous quarter, bringing the total number of people in Spain working to more than 20.5 million, the highest figure since 2008 and close to the historical record set in 2007.